SINGAPORE: A former police officer was sentenced to one year and 11 months' jail on Thursday (Nov 21) for multiple offences, including drug-related charges, breaking into his neighbour's house and trying to set it on fire.
While awaiting bail, Tan Yan Chong, 35, cursed at an officer for asking him to change into prison clothing that he said was transparent.
Tan, who was unrepresented, also complained in court about police mistreatment, prompting the judge to question him on how that was a relevant mitigating factor.
He pleaded guilty to seven charges, mostly drug-related, with another 16 charges taken into consideration.
A police spokesperson told CNA that Tan was with the Singapore Police Force and resigned in 2008 when he was a corporal.
Tan was first arrested on Apr 5 last year after his neighbour, Mr Wong Soon Yuh, called the police to say that Tan had broken into his home.
At about 6am that morning, Tan climbed from his balcony into his neighbour's, with the noise waking up Mr Wong and his girlfriend.
Seeing that Tan was trying to pry open the glass doors into his home, Mr Wong went to him and asked him what he was doing.
Tan claimed that Mr Wong's girlfriend had installed closed-circuit television cameras in Tan's home in order to monitor his movements.
After talking to Mr Wong, Tan climbed back into his unit. He was arrested later that morning, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Magdalene Huang.
It emerged later that Tan had also called the police three hours before breaking into Mr Wong's house and told the police that his neighbour's girlfriend had admitted to installing CCTV cameras in his house.
ARRESTED FOR HOUSEBREAKING, DRUGS FOUND IN HIS HOMES
After his arrest for housebreaking, Tan was taken to police lock-up and later escorted back to his home by Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB), where a search uncovered several packets of crystalline substances.
More packets of crystalline substances and tablets were found in another home registered as Tan's official address.
The seized packets were found to contain methamphetamine, and Tan's urine samples showed that he had consumed meth.
Other drugs found in his possession included Class A controlled substances MDMA and ketamine.
He admitted taking the drugs and said he bought the meth about five times from a person known only as Apple. He also admitted that he had previously sold and given the drugs to other users.
COMPLAINS ABOUT PRISON CLOTHING WHILE AWAITING BAIL
While awaiting bail at Changi Prison Complex Cluster B on Apr 19 last year, Tan cursed at an officer for asking him to change into prison clothing that he felt was transparent.
The officer explained to him that the clothes were standard issue, and Tan shouted "f*** you" at him.
The officer told him to be careful about the words he used, and Tan repeated "f*** you" at him in a softer voice.
After Tan was released on bail, he went back home and again targeted his neighbour Mr Wong.
At about 3pm on Apr 28 last year, he squatted along the corridor in front of Mr Wong's front door and used duct tape to seal the edges of the door.
His actions were seen by another neighbour, who had heard sounds coming from the corridor and looked through the peephole from her unit.
ANOTHER NEIGHBOUR CALLS POLICE AFTER SEEING HIM LIGHTING FIRE
Three hours later at 6pm, she saw Tan set a roll of paper on fire and brush it against Mr Wong's main door. He also sprayed what the eyewitness believed to be aerosol on the door.
She called the police and Tan was arrested again.
When Mr Wong returned home, accompanied by the police, they discovered soil mixed with glass shards that had been shoved under the door.
The prosecution on Thursday asked the judge to sentence Tan to 23 months' jail.
In a previous hearing under a different judge, the court had heard that Tan was a former police officer, although no further details were provided.
TAN COMPLAINS ABOUT BEING "MANHANDLED" BY POLICE
Tan alleged in court that he had not been arrested via proper procedures.
"I have submitted complaints to the division for the way they handled me during arrest," said Tan before District Judge Salina Ishak on Thursday.
"Ten to 12 officers manhandling me, when I was just ... on the sofa."
He added that this was his first offence and that another judge had disclosed his medical condition to an open court, when his family had not known about it.
He said he had no legal representation and had gone to the State Courts library to do some research.
"I also (sought) self-admission to Tan Tock Seng Hospital for my drug issues before being caught, and I was told that would be a good mitigating factor," he said.
The judge asked him how his complaints against the police were mitigating factors, and told him that he should take it up separately if he had any issues or complaints.
She backdated his sentence to the date of his remand on Aug 2 this year and granted his request to speak to his parents after the hearing.